Friday, July 25, 2008

Handbag snatched inside shopping complex (Malaysia)

Handbag snatched inside shopping complex

Shoba Mano | Jun 25, 08 4:33pm
I’m writing this to inform all Malaysians to think carefully where they shop. There are shopping complexes with security problems so bad that people can get robbed even in the midst of hundreds of shoppers about. And there would be no security or anyone from the complex’s management to help.
On Sunday, June 15, I was at the Summit Subang Jaya, a shopping centre located at Persiaran Kewajipan, in USJ1, in Subang Jaya.
At about 3pm, I took a seat while my husband and I were in a shoe shop on the ground floor. While seated, I placed my handbag beside me and reached out to pick up a pair of shoes displayed just in front of me.
When the shop assistant said my shoe size was not available, I stood up to look at another pair. As the assistant moved away, she suddenly screamed that someone had just stolen my handbag.
I shouted to my husband and he ran out of the shop together with the assistant and me. As we ran, the assistant described the thief in detail and pointed to a man standing near Starbucks.
While my husband pursued the man, the shop assistant and I rushed to the Information Counter to seek help from the lady there.
After quickly explaining what had happened, I had asked her to immediately call security and to make an announcement throughout the shopping centre that if anyone sees a man in the description we had given to please inform the nearest security guard.
What happened next is utterly shocking! Despite the fact that I was in distress, she refused to assist me in any way and refused to phone security.
Surprised, I explained the situation again, but she replied point blank that ‘that is not my job’. She claimed her job was only to provide directions and information on the location of the various shops in the shopping centre.
The shop assistant and I approached the nearest security guard and told him what happened and gave a description of the thief. The guard merely spoke into his walkie-talkie and said he had ‘sealed off’ all entrances.
As we were walking together towards Starbucks I asked him if such theft was a common occurrence at the Summit. He told me ‘yes’ and that the thieves were so bold as to even snatch handbags off women while they were walking around the shopping centre.
When the guard couldn’t see my husband anywhere, he simply walked off.
The assistant and I resumed our search all over the building. During that time, we noted none of the exits or entrances we checked were sealed off as the guard had said. Furthermore, there wasn’t even any guard at these places. So what did he mean by ‘sealed off’?
During this time I also passed the Information Counter again and pleaded with the same woman there to make the public announcement because the thief could just as well have passed the stolen ‘loot’ to an accomplice and gone on to find his next victim.
Isn’t she concerned that he could strike again and shouldn’t the other shoppers be warned? When she didn’t bother I took down her name and said I was going to lodge a report against her and take a law suit against the management of the Summit.
My husband joined the assistant and I, and the three of us searched the shopping centre. My husband said he, too, had noticed none of the entrances were ‘sealed off’ when he was searching on his own too.
There were also no guards posted at the stairwells, exits, etc, as we checked all these places. Later when we returned to the Information Counter we found the same woman had called someone in plainclothes who identified himself as ‘head of security’.
The woman had changed her attitude by now (after I threatened to sue) and even offered to ask the DJ to make an announcement although she added, ‘when the DJ could find the time’. This was like 90 minutes after the theft. She was acting like this was some scheduled movie announcement and not an urgent situation of grave danger that needed immediate attention.
By now, the shop assistant had gone back to the shoe shop and my husband and I went there with this head of security to speak to her. She then came again with us and the head of security to comb the floors of the shopping centre.
The head of security then left us, saying there was nothing more he could do. He didn’t even bother to take a statement or any particulars from the shop assistant, my husband or me.
The thief had made off with my one-month-old mobile phone costing RM1,100, RM200 in cash, credit cards, ATM cards, driving licence, and identification card among other items valued at RM300.
I have since lodged a police report as I hold the Summit negligent and responsible for my loss as they never bothered to provide me with immediate and proper assistance during a time of distress.
I have also referred this matter to my solicitors with a view to sue the Summit, Subang Jaya.
Their attitude of not providing assistance during an emergency is even more shocking if one stretches the imagination a little, and replaces my stolen handbag with a kidnapped child.
This shopping centre is a disgrace to public safety and I ask all Subang residents to think twice about shopping there.


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